Private rail in germany the example of connex
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Private Rail in Germany: The Example of Connex. Overview:. Rail reform as the legal background: Open access “Regionalisation” as a new way of financing regional rail Connex as the biggest independent rail operator: Concept and philosophy. Rail reform: The situation in 1991/92.

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Private Rail in Germany: The Example of Connex

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Private Rail in Germany:The Example of Connex


Rail reform as the legal background:

  • Open access

  • “Regionalisation” as a new way of financing regional rail

    Connex as the biggest independent rail operator:

  • Concept and philosophy

Rail reform:The situation in 1991/92

  • Bundesbahn and Reichsbahn (former GDR) in desolate economic situation

  • Dwindling market share compared to road transport in spite of high state subsidies

  • Urgent need of investment

Recommendations of the “Pällmann-Committee”:

More Competition!

  • By intramodal competition service quality and efficiency will be improved

  • By better service quality and efficiency the trend towards road transport will be stopped, maybe even reverted

  • New market participants will bring new know-how and fresh money

Recommendations of the “Pällmann-Committee”:

Instruments to achieve competition:

  • Opening of rail infrastructure for independent operator

  • Financing of the deficit of regional rail through the federal states (“Länder”).

  • “Customer-client principle”: States are allowed to order regional rail services from other operators than DB

  • Complete opening of the market for (non-subsidised) long-distance passenger rail

Opening of rail infrastructure

Deutsche Bahn was divided into

  • Transport subsidiaries (regional rail, long-distance rail, railfreight)  DB Regio, DB Reise & Touristik, DB Cargo (=Railion)

  • Infrastructure companies (tracks, stations)  DB Netz AG, DB Station & Service

  • Both divisions have separate accounting. In the long term both divisions would have been completely separated.

Opening of rail infrastructure

  • Independent train operators is given discrimination-free access to infrastructure (tracks, stations) – for a fair user fee, of course

  • Similar EU legislation was implemented by directive 91/440


Financing of the deficit in regional rail until 1994:





Simple balancing of the whole deficit


Federal states


Financing of regionalrail from 1995:

Regionalisation funds

(ca. 7 Mrd. Euros/year)


Train operators:

... and ca. 30 others



  • Integration of regional know-how of the passengers’ needs

  • Clear responsibility

  • More transparency of the costs of regional rail

  • More efficient use of state subsidies

Results ofRegionalisation (1)

  • Increase of offered transport capacity (train kilometres) by 20 to 30 percent

  • On average slowly growing passenger number –against the overall trend in public transport

  • Spectacular passenger increases at some projects

  • Market share of independent train operators grew to 9-10 % (Connex 3 %)

Results of Regionalisation (2)

  • When tendering regional rail, the states/PTAs have realised savings of 15-25% - at the same or even better service level.

  • Some lines could be saved from closure and successfully revitalised

Connex in the regional rail market

  • Ca. 700 employees

  • 7 subsidiaries

  • 2 long distance trains

  • 1612 km line length

  • 19,2 Mio. train-km 2004

  • 153 Diesel railcars

  • 3 conventional trains with loco

  • 248 Mio. Euro turnover 2003(excl. rail cargo, incl. bus)

  • Turnover 2004: 336 Mio. Euro

Connex in theregional rail market

Market share in regional rail:

  • By train-km ca. 3 %

  • By turnover ca. 2 %

  • Main focus is - due to tendering practices - on secondary lines

The Connex Way

Regional approach:

  • All Connex operations show a “regional face” to the customer. Goal: Passenger and PTA should call it “our railway”. “Global players” are unpopular with the German passenger (situation is different in railfreight)

  • Basically regional brandswith Connex co-branding

  • Joint ventures with municipally owned transport companies are possible:

The Connex Way

Decentralised company structure:

  • Powerful medium-sized regional subsidiaries with powerful managing directors

  • Headquarter is mainly “service provider”: Legal affairs, taxation, partially finances and communications – it is not an all-powerful headquarter in a traditional way

  •  Self-sufficiency of the subsidiaries allows quick decision-making in most cases

The rolling stock of Connex

Mainly three types of DMU with similar characteristics

  • 120 km/h

  • 2 x 275 or 2 x 315 kW with mechanic power transmission

  • 120-150 seats

Alstom LINT (38)

Bombardier Talent (53)

Siemens Desiro (18)

The rolling stock of Connex

Three conventional trainsets, consisting of electric loco (class 185) and 4-6 refurbished express train cars (140 km/h)

The rolling stock of Connex

From Dec. 2005 on the Hamburg-Island of Sylt route:

Diesel-hauled push-pull trains with 6-12 cars,

140 km/h (Cars can run 160 km/h)

Outlook for the future

  • Municipally owned operator enter the market with dumping bids

  • Legal situation concerning contracting procedures and tendering unclear – contradictory laws and court decisions

  • Connex has to confirm its position as a reliable partner and high quality operator

Thank you for your attention!

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